A method for producing a pattern in an aerogel disposed as a coating on a substrate comprises exposing the aerogel coating to the vapors of a hydrophobic silane compound, masking the aerogel coating with a shadow photomask and irradiating the aerogel coating with ultraviolet (UV) irradiation. The exposure to UV through the shadow mask creates a pattern of hydrophobic and hydrophilic regions in the aerogel coating. Etching away the hydrophilic regions of the aerogel coating, preferably with a 1 molar solution of sodium hydroxide, leaves the unwetted and unetched hydrophobic regions of the aerogel layer on the substrate, replicating the pattern of the photomask. The hydrophobic aerogel pattern can be further exposed to UV irradiation if desired, to create a hydrophilic aerogel pattern.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
The United States Government has certain rights in this invention pursuant to Department of Energy Contract No. DE-AC04-94AL85000 with Sandia Corporation.